There are two bands of fibrous tissue called the cruciate ligaments in each knee joint. They connect the femur and tibia together (the bones above and below the knee joint) so that the knee works as a hinged joint. During a cruciate surgery, the aim is to stabilise the knee joint by replacing the torn cruciate ligament and restoring function to the knee. This involves placing a synthetic ligament on the outside of the joint capsule (“extra-capsular”) to replace the missing/ruptured cruciate ligament. This synthetic ligament then helps to stabilise the knee joint.
To ensure a safe recovery it is best that your pet is kept inside overnight somewhere warm and quiet as they will still be sleepy after having an anaesthetic. They may need to be confined to a crate or sectioned off in a smaller area of the house (e.g. laundry or bathroom).
You will need to check the surgery site daily, and bathe it in a weak salt solution if it is messy or crusty. A small amount of swelling around the surgery site is to be expected. You can reduce this by applying light pressure to the area with an ice pack wrapped in a towel.
If the surgery site becomes red or weepy, or your pet is licking at the area and seems uncomfortable, bring them in for a checkup as these symptoms may indicate an infection is starting.
Lead walking for short distances from the day after the operation is encouraged.
We will need to see your pet back in 10-14 days to check the surgery site and to remove the sutures.
Do not bathe your dog or allow them to go swimming until 2 days after the sutures are removed.
Once the sutures are removed you can slowly start to increase exercise.
For the first four weeks avoid any rough and tumble, retrieving, and jumping. By eight to twelve weeks your pet should be walking fairly normally. If they are still lame at twelve weeks, or they suddenly favour a leg at any time, they should be brought back in for a checkup.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to give us a call at the clinic on 9274 1845.